Tuesday, September 2, 2008

The Return to Sturgeon Falls


With the specter of medical school looming over my head, leaving Yellowstone I was not quite ready to give up the freedom of my summer. I mounted a bus in Billings, MT that took me to St. Cloud, MN. After 15 hours of the Greyhound population and listening to the "dancer" in the seat behind me drop her whole life story on some kindly elderly woman, I stepped of the bus and into my friends car. We quickly drove up to Duluth, grabbing my boat and another paddling buddy we headed Northward to Canada.

I fell asleep to lull of the open road. Hardly being conscious of anything since our border crossing, I looked to my watch which read 2:34 am and saw the headlights of the car illuminating our campsite. We threw up a tent and went to bed.

A quick nap on the water

Waking up late, we headed down to the water to begin the morning trek to Sturgeon falls. Having arrived, I smiled at the site of the myriad of large play waves awaiting us while excitely ambling up the rocky shore. I was surprised to find that even after a month away from my kayak, I still felt very comfortable on the water. The features had changed significantly due to the relatively low water conditions compared to my last outing to Sturgeon Falls (still at 63,000 cfs though!). "Big Mouth" regularly reared up and spread it's watery jaws in the form of breaking river wave. There were the smaller features to refine one's technique and the larger features to test a paddler's skills.

Myself on "Surfer's" and Dave on "Chameleon"

So for 3 solid days we played on the waves of Sturgeon falls to our hearts desire. A daily noon nap would be had on the island as a necessity to endure an 8 hour day of paddling. Every evening after coming off the water happily exhausted, we would sit along the water's edge drinking a celebratory beer in twilight of the falling sun. I went to bed at night with a torso so sore it was difficult to forcibly laugh and noting that there was plenty of laughter to be had.

Dave on "surfers" and me on "Chameleon"

A day later, having driven home, I found myself in a lecture hall staring blankly into my computer screen as slides of cardiac physiology were flashed incessantly. Yet, I sat focused and felt ready for the onslaught as if floating into the rearing waves of Sturgeon Falls and from the chaos gracefully surfing ahead. It was a renewing and glorious summer and Sturgeon Falls was my my last hurrah before it's end.

1 comment:

Snow_King said...

I'll have to go to Sturgeon Falls sometime...it looks pretty cool.